Background - My wife and I are in our mid-forties with two boys ages 11 and 6. We are RCCL Diamond members and have taken 8 cruises with the line. This was our 16th cruise overall and our second Maiden Voyage (First one was Queen Victoria in Dec. 2007). RCCL has been our favorite line due to the large passenger demographic and their focus on family cruising. We booked this one in May 2009 and received two upgrades from the line. We originally had an inside and wound up with a D2 Superior Ocean View Balcony amidships. This cruise had 4,800 guests which was short of capacity by 1,500 guests. RCCL said this was by design for the first cruise. They are getting a premium cruise rate for this ship, so expectations are high.
Embarkation - A breeze. The new ship terminal (Terminal 18) built for Oasis is huge and can easily handle the passenger load. I was suspicious when RCCL announced that this terminal will allow passengers to go from the curb to ship in 15 minutes. We did it in 10 minutes. WOW!!
Accommodations - The room was a good size and the storage space was adequate. The bed is too close to the closet and blocks some of the storage space. RCCL needs to address this on Allure of the Seas. The balcony was 40 sq.ft and had a nice view of the ocean. The bathroom was bigger than I expected and met all of our needs.
Public Spaces - BIG!! BIG!! BIG!! Every space was elegantly designed and exceeded our expectations. Our favorite space is Central Park. It is so beautiful with the real trees and shrubs. We really enjoyed Vintages Wine Bar in Central Park. We sat outside in the park drinking wine and eating tapas. It was great!! This is the best designed ship I have ever been on in my life. It was easy to navigate, had superior design and was elegantly appointed. RCCL spared no expense. Everything was done first class. We missed not getting to the Solarium. We only walked through it and it is wonderful. The stability of the ship is incredible. It virtually did not move in the water. One little lerch leaving Labadee was all I felt.
Dining - We had the main seating at the Opus Dining room at 6pm. The food was average which is expected from RCCL. The service was under stress given the enormity of the passenger load. The line fell down a bit here, but I excused it due to it being the first cruise. Our waiter, Igorce, was very attentive and treated us well. He had too many tables to wait and therefore was running around all night. He had a really tough job. I am not one to spend money on alternative restaurant cover charges. This ship has plenty of complimentary locations other than the main dining room and Windjammer. We really liked Sorrento's Pizza for lunch and the Park Cafe for breakfast. We only went to Windjammer buffet once for breakfast. It was nice with good food, but too crowded. Go to the Park Cafe for breakfast. The food is good and eating in Central Park is wonderful.
Activities - Too many to mention. Flow Rider (2), basketball (full court), mini-golf, table tennis, zip-line, sports pool, kids pool (H2O Zone), sand pool, main pool, solarium pool, spa, gym, carousel, rock wall (2), ice skating, jogging track (deck 5), comedy club, jazz club, Theater, Aqua Theater, etc. We saw the ice show, Hairspray in the Opal Theater and the Aqua Theater show Oasis of Dreams. They were all very good. Hairspray was the best. The Comedians were average, but not great. There is also a huge casino on board that rival some Atlantic City Casino Hotels. It is huge with two craps tables. My wife and I don't gamble, but we like to watch others.
Ports - Labadee, Haiti is a resort owned by RCCL. It has recently been redone. There is a brand new pier that opened on 12/3/09 that allows all ships to dock including Oasis. There is the Dragon's Breath Zip-Line and the Dragon's Tail Coaster. Both alot of fun. The beach is nice and vendor free!!! The resort is clean and the lunch buffet they serve is good. Adventure Ocean has activities on the resort, so the kids can go there and the adults can enjoy the beach or other activities. I was pleased with the changes on Labadee and would go back there again.
Adventure Ocean - Wonderful!! It is a great space and our 6 year old really loved it. The have their own theater and also A science lab and art studio. It was terrific!! Top of the line and, of course, BIG!!
Diamond Club - We are RCCL Diamond members. The Diamond Club is a nice space, but it was never used. The Concierge was there each day from 10am to 12 noon, but breakfast was served at Park Cafe and cocktail hour was at the Blaze Nightclub from 5pm to 8:30pm each night. Good drinks!! Really good drinks!!
Debarkation - A breeze. Off the ship, through customs and at the airport in less than 20 minutes.
Overall - A really good cruise, but not great. The computer glitches and dining room service knocked the total cruise experience down a little. The ship is the most beautiful I have ever seen and the options for dining and entertainment are virtually limitless. The on-board charges for drinks, apparel and gifts are higher than other RCCL ships, so watch what you spend closely and have a good time. We certainly did.